In the market for 7,000 issues of four of America’s favorite magazines? Here’s your man


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Anyone who has ever collected things — porcelain figurines, autographed footballs, whatever —  knows that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. 

Some are more fully aware of that than others.

Take Tom Svare of Bakersfield, who has the joy and the burden of possessing 7,000 magazines.

For those under the age of 20, it may be helpful to understand the purpose of this thing called a magazine. Back in the olden days, before websites and podcasts, that was how people got much of their their news and information — from ink printed on paper.

And for many people, especially during the 20th century, they held special value — familiar friends that visited monthly or weekly. Some people hung onto them like keepsakes.

Some people — like Svare.

Svare has 7,000 consecutive issues of four of the country’s most beloved magazines: Time, Life, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic — in the case of Life, going all the way back to issue number one.

He had help, of course. He’s not that old.

His late foster father, a World Mar II veteran named Michael Villareal, started the collection and maintained it until his death at 92.

Now, at 78, Svare thinks it’s time to part with the collection, which takes up half on a storage unit in the Rio Bravo valley of northeast Bakersfield — not cheap to store. He doesn’t want to sell individual magazines because it would break up the sets and diminish their value.

So he’s stuck.

He has offered the collection to libraries and colleges. No takers. They can access all of the issues on the internet, they say. But they can’t access the touch or the smell of history.

In the market for 7,000 magazines? Tom Svare is your man. Email him at and make an offer.


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